Saturday, September 15, 2012

Our Journey into Real Food

Earlier this week I began and completed purging all processed foods from our home. When you really start looking at what's in your pantry, it can be pretty scary.
My previous outlook was that it can't be all that bad, everyone else is eating it...but it really is THAT bad.
The Lord began speaking to me through a series of events that all happened in rapid succession. I knew that He was calling me to make an extreme change...and that NOW was the time. I didn't have the money to dump all processed foods and purchased real, whole replacements....but I did it, and the Lord provided. It never ceases to amaze me that when I ask, He answers...why do we ask in expectation and then stand in awe when he supplies? Our human-ness, I guess.
Anyways, for many reasons..highest of which is the health of my husband, we decided to make the change. Everyone in the family was (shockingly) on more way that I knew the Lord was in it. journey into a real food lifestyle begins.....
I ended up getting rid of almost EVERYTHING in my pantries and fridge / freezer. Sounds intimidating, doesn't it? was at first, but once I started, it was invigorating. With each item I removed, I knew I was moving my family towards health.

Here is my fridge today:

Smoothies are nothing new to our home, but it was not a staple before....and we used flavored yogurt. Now though, there is no sugary stuff..only plain, not vanilla yogurt, sweetened by real fruit and raw honey. (The ingredient lists are key in recognizing what you do and do not want in your home).
My first REAL FOOD MEAL was a chicken, rice, broccoli casserole. THIS is the recipe.

Previously, we have often eaten the Stouffer's Grandma's Chicken & Vegetable Rice Bake. It was a white rice, chicken, veggie bake with a list a mile long of "ingredients" that included tons of garbage that our bodies were never made to take in.

I was a little intimidated by the recipe initially because it calls for you to make cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup from scratch (I didn't even know you could do that!!) But I decided to give it a whirl and used this recipe to make them. I was pleasantly surprised at how quick and easy it was to make!

Anything that calls for oil, I am now using coconut leaves NO flavor, trust me! Olive oil is ok to use at room temp or cold, but not heated. I was sauteing the onions, garlic and chopped mushrooms for the Cream of Mushroom soup.
all done!
cream of mushroom on the left and cream of chicken on the right.
Here I'm steaming fresh broccoli and making whole grain brown rice for the casserole:
Chicken that I cooked and chopped for the casserole:
Finished product! (After three servings were dished out)
 It was delicious! Although it def needed some salt.
One of the great things about this recipe is that it actually makes 2 casseroles! One for now and one to freeze for later...or if you have a large family, it will make plenty! This one casserole fed all three of us two times with one small serving leftover. The second casserole I made was larger than this one and it fed a family of 6 and they also had leftovers!

The second real food recipe I tried was whole grain waffles. Sound gross? It's actually delicious! I was surprised because I expected it to be VERY "bleh".
We used 100% pure, organic maple syrup and if you dip instead of pouring it onto the waffles you only need a quarter of a cup for 2 waffles!! It's great!
I used an electric hand mixer for this batter because the coconut oil at room temp (or when it gets cold) is the texture of when it hit the cold milk, it clumped up!

Ronnie is, by far, the pickiest eater in our family. He normally uses TONS of syrup and likes NOTHING healthy...he LOVED these waffles and only used 1/4 cup syrup. He was totally full after only eating 2! (To give you an idea of how great this is...he normally has to eat 4 waffles with probably 1 1/2-2 cups of processed, high fructose corn syrup in it syrup to be full!) He even said to mark this recipe as a keeper! (HUGE!)
here's my plate....after the syrup soaked into Ronnie and Kyle's waffles, we discovered the dipping trick :)

 So...there you have it. Both recipes were easier than I thought, yummier than I thought and TONS more nutritious for my family. 
I encourage you strongly to give it a whirl. 
If I can do it, ANYBODY can!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Picture Purrfect Pippi

Some of you may not know that we have a recent edition to our Pippi:
she is just DARLING!
 and...she's PICTURE PURRFECT ;) When I saw her in the window this morning, I just could not resist snapping a few shots....


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Teaser Tuesday ~ Sept. 11th


"Because Papa is balancing himself on a copy of War and Peace", Elizabeth explained. "Mother was the same height as Papa, you see, so he brought the book from his library to the photographer's."
 Julia had to smile. "Your father doesn't strike me as being selfconscious about his height."
"Actually, he isn't. But he says he didn't want future generations referring to him as 'the short Grandfather Phelps.' Yet he tells everyone who sees the photograph that he's perched upon a book."

Here's how it works!
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Process Post, Quilting Finished!

I LOVE finishing quilting quilts! It's so wonderful!

quilt front
quilt back
And here is the Queen making it all possible:
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Sunday, September 9, 2012

More Quilting Progress! (Process Pledge)

I have been stitching away! I chose the free "raindrops" pantograph pattern (found here) for my scrap quilt.

Loading the quilt is so easy...I LOVE IT!!!
loading the top! The backing is on the roll above it, already loaded.
All ready to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While quilting, I've been listening to the second book in Marie Bostwick's Cobbled Court Quilts series. These are such great stories. They really make you "feel" like you're there.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

QUILTING progress!

Well, although I am behind in my posting of family events, etc...I am going to have to move on and come back to them at a later time because Ronnie's laptop crashed! The one with ALLLLLLL the pics on it! I am sharing with you a dream come new Grace Next Generation quilting frame and Viking Mega Quilter!

I always thought that I would not be able to get one of these until Kyle was grown. It's not a long arm, just a short arm, BUT I LOVE IT! you can imagine, I have been a busy bee with quilting all my UFO's!
It's so great! no pinning the sandwich, no fighting, just roll and quilt!

The first thing I quilted was this fishing quilt because it was small and I wouldn't be upset if I messed it up some. All I did was some freehand meandering. (I was so nervous!)
It was SO quick and easy though! I was shocked!!

Then Lisa came over and quilted two of her quilts for the Quilted Hugs project for the orphanage in Mexico!
They whipped right out!

Next up, I quilted my postage stamp quilt! I LOVE this quilt and was SO excited to finish it!

Then....DRUM ROLL, please......... this is HUGE...................
I used my first pantograph!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I quilted this design onto this "quick jellyroll quilt" that I pieced a few months ago!
The lighting in these pics is horrible, but oh well! The quilting is amazing!!
Not only did I get all of those quilted, I also pieced the backing for two more quilts! This scrap quilt:

and my butterfly quilt from the fat 8 block swap I participated in on the quilting board.

I am super siked to make so much progress in so little time and cannot wait to complete all of my UFO's so I can start building a stack of new UFO's!!